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THE GOSPEL OF 

NICODEMUS 



THE GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS, FORMERLY CALLED THE ACTS OF PONTIUS PILATE. 

Although this Gospel is, by some among the learned, supposed to have been really writ- 
ten by Nicodemus, who became a disciple of Jesus Christ, and conversed with him; others 
conjecture that it was a forgery towards the close of the third century by some jealous 
believer, who, observing that there had been appeals made by the Christians of the 
former age, to the acts of Pilate, but that such acts could not be produced, imagined it 
would be of service to Christianity to fabricate and publish this Gospel; as it would both 
confirm the Christians under persecution, and convince the Heathens of the truth of the 
Christian religion. The Rev. Jeremiah Jones says, that such pious frauds were very com- 
mon among Christians even in the first three centuries; and that a forgery of this 
nature, with the view above-mentioned, seems natural and probable. The same author, in 
noticing that Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, charges the Pagans with having 
forged and published a book, called "The Acts of Pilate," takes occasion to observe that 
the internal evidence of this Gospel shows it was not the work of any Heathen, but that 
if in the latter end of the third century we find it in use among Christians (as it was 
then certainly in some churches), and about the same time find a forgery of the Heathens 
under the same title, it seems exceedingly probable that some Christians, at that time, 
should publish such a piece as this, in order partly to confront the spurious one of the 
Pagans, and partly to support those appeals which had been made by former Christians 
to the Acts of Pilate; and Mr. Jones says, he thinks so more particularly as we have in- 
numerable instances of forgeries by the faithful in the primitive ages, grounded on less 
plausible reasons. Whether it be canonical or not, it is of very great antiquity, and is 
appealed to by several of the ancient Christians. The present translation is made from 
the Gospel, published by Grynaeus in the Orthodoxographa, vol, i, torn, ii, p. 61 3. 

Notwithstanding the diversity of opinions here alluded to, the majority of the learned 
believe that the internal evidence of the authenticity of this Gospel is manifested in the 
correct details of that period of Christ' s life on which it treats, while it far excels the 
canonical Evangelists narrative of the trial of our Saviour before Pilate, with more 
minute particulars of persons, evidence, circumstance, &c. 



1 



The Gospel of NICODEMUS, the dis- 
ciple, concerning the Sufferings and Re- 
surrection of our Master and Saviour, 
JESUS CHRIST. 

CHAPTER L 

1 Christ accused to Pilate by the Jews of 
healing on the Sabbath. 9 Summoned be- 
fore Pilate by a messenger who does him 
honour. 20 Worshipped by the standards 
bowing down to him. 
ANNAS and Caiphas, and Summas, 
and Datam, Gamaliel, Judas, Levi, 
Nepthalim, Alexander, Cyrus, and 
other Jews, went to Pilate about Je- 
sus, accusing him with many bad 
crimes. 

2 And said, We are assured that Je- 
sus is the son of Joseph, the car- 
penter, and born of Mary, and that 
he declares himself the Son of God, 
and a king; and not only so, but at- 
tempts the dissolution of the Sab- 
bath, and the laws of our fathers. 

3 Pilate replied, What is it which he 
declares? and what is it which he at- 
tempts dissolving? 

4 The Jews told him, We have a law 
which forbids doing cures on the 
Sabbath day; but he cures both the 
lame and the deaf, those afflicted 
with the palsy, the blind, the lepers, 
and demoniacs, on that day, by 
wicked methods. 

5 Pilate replied, How can he do this 
by wicked methods? They answered 
He is a conjurer, and casts out devils 
by the prince of the devils; and so 
all things, become subject to him. 

6 Then said Pilate, Casting out dev- 
ils seems not to be the work of an 
unclean spirit, but to proceed from 
the power of God. 

7 The Jews replied to Pilate, We en- 
treat your highness to summon him 



to appear before your tribunal, and 
hear him yourself. 

8 Then Pilate called a messenger, 
and said to him, By what means will 
Christ be brought hither? 

9 Then went the messenger forth, 
and knowing Christ, worshipped 
him; and having spread the cloak 
which he had in his hand upon the 
ground, he said, Lord, walk upon 
this, and go in, for the governor 
calls thee. 

10 When the Jews perceived what 
the messenger had done, they ex- 
claimed (against him) to Pilate, and 
said, Why did you not give him his 
summons by a beadle, and not by a 
messenger? — For the messenger, 
when he saw him, worshipped him, 
and spread the cloak which he had in 
his hand upon the ground before 
him, and said to him, Lord, the gov- 
ernor calls thee. 

11 Then Pilate called the messenger, 
and said, Why hast thou done thus? 

12 The messenger replied, When 
thou sentest me from Jerusalem to 
Alexander, I saw Jesus sitting in a 
mean figure upon a she-ass, and the 
children of the Hebrews cried out, 
Hosannah, holding boughs of trees 
in their hands. 

13 Others spread their garments in 
the way, and said, Save us, thou who 
art in heaven; blessed is he who 
cometh in the name of the Lord. 

14 Then the Jews cried out, against 
the messenger, and said, The chil- 
dren of the Hebrews made their ac- 
clamations in the Hebrew language; 
and how couldst thou, who art a 
Greek, understand the Hebrew? 

15 The messenger answered them 
and said, I asked one of the Jews 
and said, What is this which the chil- 



GOSPEL OF 



NICODEMUS 



dren do cry out in the Hebrew lan- 
guage? 

16 And he explained it to me, say- 
ing, they cry out, Hosannah, which 
being interpreted, is, O Lord, save 
me; or, O Lord, save. 

17 Pilate then said to them, Why do 
you yourselves testify to the words 
spoken by the children, namely, by 
your silence? In what has the mes- 
senger done amiss? And they were 
silent. 

18 Then the governor said unto the 
messenger, Go forth and endeavour 
by any means to bring him in. 

19 But the messenger went forth 
and did as before; and said, Lord 
come in, for the governor calleth 
thee. 

20 And as Jesus was going in by the 
ensigns, who carried the standards, 
the tops of them bowed down and 
worshipped Jesus. 

21 Whereupon the Jews exclaimed 
more vehemently against the ensigns. 

22 But Pilate said to the Jews, I 
know it is not pleasing to you that 
the tops of the standards did of 
themselves bow and worship Jesus; 
but why do ye exclaim against the 
ensigns, as if they had bowed and 
worshipped? 

23 They replied to Pilate, We saw 
the ensigns themselves bowing and 
worshipping Jesus. 

24 Then the governor called the en- 
signs, and said unto them, Why did 
you do thus? 

25 The ensigns said to Pilate, We 
are all Pagans and worship the gods 
in temples; and how should we think 
anything about worshipping him? We 
only held the standards in our hands, 
and they bowed themselves and wor- 
shipped him. 

26 Then said Pilate to the rulers of 
the synagogue, Do ye yourselves 
choose some strong men, and let 



them hold the standards, and we 
shall see whether they will then bend 
of themselves. 

27 So the elders of the Jews sought 
out twelve of the most strong and 
able old men, and made them hold 
the standards, and they stood in the 
presence of the governor. 

28 Then Pilate said to the messen- 
ger, Take Jesus out, and by some 
means bring him in again. And Jesus 
and the messenger went out of the 
hall. 

29 And Pilate called the ensigns 
who before had borne the standards, 
and swore to them, that if they had 
not borne the standards in that man- 
ner when Jesus before entered in, he 
would cut off their heads. 

30 Then the governor commanded 
Jesus to come in again. 

31 And the messenger did as he had 
done before, and very much en- 
treated Jesus that he would go upon 
his cloak, and walk on it; and he did 
walk upon it, and went in. 

32 And when Jesus went in, the 
standards bowed themselves as be- 
fore, and worshipped him. 

CHAPTER II. 

2 Is comppassionated bj Pilate's wife, 7 
charged with being born in fornication. 12 
Testimony to the betrothing of his par- 
ents. 15 Hatred of the Jews to him. 

NOW when Pilate saw this, he was 
afraid, and was about to rise from 
his seat. 

2 But while he thought to rise, his 
own wife who stood at a distance, 
sent to him, saying, Have thou noth- 
ing to do with that just man; for I 
have suffered much concerning him 
in a vision this night. 

3 When the Jews heard this they 
said to Pilate, Did we not say unto 
thee, He is a conjuror? Behold, he 
hath caused thy wife to dream. 



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NICODEMUS 



4 Pilate then calling Jesus, said, 
thou hast heard what they testify 
against thee, and makest no answer? 

5 Jesus replied, If they had not a 
power of speaking, they could not 
have spoke; but because every one 
has the command of his own tongue, 
to speak both good and bad, let him 
look to it. 

6 But the elders of the Jews 
answered, and said to Jesus, What 
shall we look to? 

7 In the first place, we know this 
concerning thee, that thou wast born 
through fornication; secondly, that 
upon the account of thy birth the in- 
fants were slain in Bethlehem; 
thirdly, that thy father and mother 
Mary fled into Egypt, because they 
could not trust their own people. 

8 Some of the Jews who stood by 
spake more favourably, We cannot 
say that he was born through fornic- 
ation; but we know that his mother 
Mary was betrothed to Joseph, and 
so he was not born through fornica- 
tion. 

9 Then said Pilate to the Jews who 
affirmed him to be born through 
fornication, This your account is not 
true, seeing there was a betrothment, 
as they testify who are of your own 
nation. 

10 Annas and Caiphas spake to Pil- 
ate, All this multitude of people is 
to be regarded, who cry out, that he 
was born through fornication, and is 
a conjurer; but they who deny him to 
be born through fornication, are his 
proselytes and disciples. 

11 Pilate answered Annas and 
Caiphas, Who are the proselytes? 
They answered, They are those who 
are the children of Pagans, and are 
not become Jews, but followers of 
him. 

12 Then replied Eleazer, and Asteri- 
us, and Antonius, and James, Caras 



and Samuel, Isaac and Phinees, Cris- 
pus and Agrippa, Annas and Judas, 
We are not proselytes, but children 
of Jews, and speak the truth, and 
were present when Mary was be- 
trothed. 

13 Then Pilate addressing himself 
to the twelve men who spake this, 
said to them, I conjure you by the 
life of Caesar, that ye faithfully de- 
clare whether he was born through 
fornication, and those things be true 
which ye have related. 

14 They answered Pilate, We have a 
law whereby we are forbid to swear, 
it being a sin: Let them swear by the 
life of Caesar that it is not as we 
have said, and we will be contented 
to be put to death. 

15 Then said Annas and Caiphas to 
Pilate, Those twelve men will not be- 
lieve that we know him to be basely 
born, and to be a conjurer, although 
he pretends that he is the Son of 
God, and a king: which we are so far 
from believing, that we tremble to 
hear. 

16 Then Pilate commanded every 
one to go out except the twelve men 
who said he was not born through 
fornication, and Jesus to withdraw to 
a distance, and said to them, Why 
have the Jews a mind to kill Jesus? 

17 They answered him, They are 
angry because he wrought cures on 
the sabbath day. Pilate said, Will they 
kill him for a good work? They say 
unto him, Yes, Sir. 

CHAPTER III. 

1 Is exonerated by Pilate. 11 Disputes 
with Pilate concerning truth. 

THEN Pilate, filled with anger, 
went out of the hall, and said to the 
Jews, I call the whole world to wit- 
ness that I find no fault in that man. 



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NICODEMUS 



2 The Jews replied to Pilate, If he 
had not been a wicked person, we 
had not brought him before thee. 

3 Pilate said to them, Do ye take 
him and try him by your law. 

4 Then the Jews said, It is not law- 
ful for us to put any one to death. 

5 Pilate said to the Jews, The com- 
mand, therefore, thou shalt not kill, 
belongs to you, but not to me. 

6 And he went again into the hall, 
and called Jesus by himself, and said 
to him, Art thou the king of the 
Jews? 

7 And Jesus answering, said to Pil- 
ate, Dost thou speak this of thyself, 
or did the Jews tell it thee concern- 
ing me? 

8 Pilate answering, said to Jesus, 
Am I a Jew? The whole nation and 
rulers of the Jews have delivered 
thee up to me. What hast thou done? 

9 Jesus answering, said, My kingdom 
is not of this world: if my kingdom 
were of this world, then would my 
servants fight, and I should not have 
been delivered to the Jews: but now 
my kingdom is not from hence. 

10 Pilate said, Art thou a king then? 
Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I 
am a king: to this end was I born, 
and for this end came I into the 
world; and for this purpose I came, 
that I should bear witness to the 
truth; and every one who is of the 
truth, heareth my voice. 

11 Pilate saith to him, What is 
truth? 

12 Jesus said, Truth is from heaven. 

13 Pilate said, Therefore truth is not 
on earth. 

14 Jesus saith to Pilate, Believe that 
truth is on earth among those, who 
when they have the power of judg- 
ment, are governed by truth, and 
form right judgment. 

CHAPTER IV. 



1 Pilate finds no fault in Jesus. 16 The 
Jews demand his crucifixion. 

THEN Pilate left Jesus in the hall, 
and went out to the Jews, and said, I 
find not any one fault in Jesus. 

2 The Jews say unto him, But he 
said, I can destroy the temple of 
God, and in three days build it up 
again. 

3 Pilate saith to them, What sort of 
temple is that of which he speaketh? 

4 The Jews say unto him, That 
which Solomon was forty-six years in 
building, he said he would destroy, 
and in three days build up. 

5 Pilate said to them again, I am in- 
nocent from the blood of that man! 
do ye look to it. 

6 The Jews say to him, His blood be 
upon us and our children. Then Pil- 
ate calling together the elders and 
scribes, priests and Levites, saith to 
them privately, Do not act thus; I 
have found nothing in your charge 
(against him) concerning his curing 
sick persons, and breaking the sab- 
bath, worthy of death. 

7 The priests and Levites replied to 
Pilate, By the life of Caesar, if any 
one be a blasphemer, he is worthy of 
death; but this man hath blasphemed 
against the Lord. 

8 Then the governor again com- 
manded the Jews to depart out of 
the hall; and calling Jesus, said to 
him, What shall I do with thee? 

9 Jesus answered him, Do according 
as it is written. 

10 Pilate said to him, How is it writ- 
ten? 

11 Jesus saith to him, Moses and the 
prophets have prophesied concern- 
ing my suffering and resurrection. 

12 The Jews hearing this, were pro- 
voked, and said to Pilate, Why wilt 
thou any longer hear the blasphemy 
of that man? 



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GOSPEL OF 



NICODEMUS 



13 Pilate saith to them, If these 
words seem to you blasphemy, do ye 
take him, bring him to your court, 
and try him according to your law. 

14 The Jews reply to Pilate, Our law 
saith, he shall be obliged to receive 
nine and thirty stripes, but if after 
this manner he shall blaspheme 
against the Lord, he shall be stoned. 

15 Pilate saith unto them, If that 
speech of his was blasphemy, do ye 
try him according to your law. 

16 The Jews say to Pilate, Our law 
command us not to put any one to 
death. We desire that he may be cru- 
cified, because he deserves the death 
of the cross. 

17 Pilate saith to them, It is not fit 
he should be crucified: let him be 
only whipped and sent away. 

18 But when the governor looked 
upon the people that were present 
and the Jews, he saw many of the 
Jews in tears, and said to the chief 
priests of the Jews, All the people 
do not desire his death. 

19 The elders of the Jews answered 
to Pilate, We and all the people came 
hither for this very purpose, that he 
should die. 

20 Pilate saith to them, Why should 
he die? 

21 They said to him, Because he de- 
clares himself to be the Son of God 
and a King. 

CHAPTER V. 

1 Nicodemus speaks in defence of Christ, 
and relates his miracles. 12 Another Jew, 
26 with Veronica, 34 Centurio, and oth- 
ers, testify of other miracles. 

BUT Nicodemus, a certain Jew, 
stood before the governor, and said, 
I entreat thee, O righteous judge, 
that thou wouldst favour me with the 
liberty of speaking a few words. 
2 Pilate said to him, Speak on. 



3 Nicodemus said, I spake to the 
elders of the Jews, and the scribes, 
and priests and Levites, and all the 
multitude of the Jews, in their as- 
sembly; What is it ye would do with 
this man? 

4 He is a man who hath wrought 
many useful and glorious miracles, 
such as no man on earth ever 
wrought before, nor will ever work. 
Let him go, and do him no harm; if 
he cometh from God, his miracles, 
(his miraculous cures) will continue; 
but if from men, they will come to 
nought. 

5 Thus Moses, when he was sent by 
God into Egypt, wrought the mir- 
acles which God commanded him, 
before Pharaoh king of Egypt; and 
though the magicians of that coun- 
try, Jannes and Jambres, wrought by 
their magic the same miracles which 
Moses did, yet they could not work 
all which he did; 

6 And the miracles which the magi- 
cians wrought, were not of God, as 
ye know, O Scribes and Pharisees; 
but they who wrought them per- 
ished, and all who believed them. 

7 And now let this man go; because 
the very miracles for which ye accuse 
him, are from God; and he is not 
worthy of death. 

8 The Jews then said to Nicodemus, 
Art thou become his disciple, and 
making speeches in his favour? 

9 Nicodemus said to them, Is the 
governor become his disciple also, 
and does he make speeches for him? 
Did not Caesar place him in that 
high post? 

10 When the Jews heard this they 
trembled, and gnashed their teeth at 
Nicodemus, and said to him, Mayest 
thou receive his doctrine for truth, 
and have thy lot with Christ! 



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NICODEMUS 



11 Nicodemus replied, Amen; I will 
receive his doctrine, and my lot with 
him, as ye have said. 

12 Then another certain Jew rose 
up, and desired leave of the gov- 
ernor to hear him a few words. 

13 And the governor said, Speak, 
what thou hast a mind. 

14 And he said, I lay for thirty- 
eight years by the sheep-pool at Jer- 
usalem, labouring under a great in- 
firmity, and waiting for a cure which 
should be wrought by the coming of 
an angel, who at a certain time 
troubled the water: and whosoever 
first after the troubling of the water 
stepped in, was made whole of what- 
soever disease he had. 

15 And when Jesus saw me languish- 
ing there, he said to me, Wilt thou 
be made whole? And I answered, Sir, 
I have no man, when the water is 
troubled, to put me into the pool. 

16 And he said unto me, Rise, take 
up thy bed and walk. And I was im- 
mediately made whole, and took up 
my bed and walked. 

17 The Jews then said to Pilate, Our 
Lord Governor, pray ask him what 
day it was on which he was cured of 
his infirmity. 

18 The infirm person replied, It was 
on the sabbath. 

19 The Jews said to Pilate, Did we 
not say that he wrought his cures on 
the sabbath, and cast out devils by 
the prince of devils? 

20 Then another certain Jew came 
forth, and said, I was blind, could 
hear sounds, but could not see any 
one; and as Jesus was going along, I 
heard the multitude passing by, and I 
asked what was there? 

21 They told me that Jesus was 
passing by: then I cried out, saying, 
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on 
me. And he stood still, and com- 



manded that I should be brought to 
him, and said to me, What wilt thou? 

22 I said, Lord, that I may receive 
my sight. 

23 He said to me, Receive thy sight: 
and presently I saw, and followed 
him, rejoicing and giving thanks, 

24 Another Jew also came forth, and 
said, I was a leper, and he cured me 
by his word only, saying, I will, be 
thou clean; and presently I was 
cleansed from my leprosy. 

25 And another Jew came forth, and 
said I was crooked, and he made me 
straight by his word. 

26 And a certain woman named 
Veronica, said, I was afflicted with 
an issue of blood twelve years, and I 
touched the hem of his garment, and 
presently the issue of blood stopped. 

27 The Jews then said, We have a 
law, that a woman shall not be al- 
lowed as an evidence. 

28 And, after other things, another 
Jew said, I saw Jesus invited to a 
wedding with his disciples, and there 
was a want of wine in Cana of Ga- 
lilee; 

29 And when the wine was all 
drank, he commanded the servants 
that they should fill six pots which 
were there with water, and they filled 
them up to the brim, and he blessed 
them and turned the water into wine, 
and all the people drank, being sur- 
prised at this miracle, 

30 And another Jew stood forth, 
and said, I saw Jesus teaching in the 
synagogue at Capernaum; and there 
was in the synagogue a certain man 
who had a devil; and he cried out, 
saying, let me alone; what have we to 
do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art 
thou come to destroy us? I know 
that thou art the Holy One of God. 

31 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, 
Hold thy peace, unclean spirit, and 
come out of the man; and presently 



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he came out of him, and did not at 
all hurt him. 

32 The following things were also 
said by a Pharisee: I saw that a great 
company came to Jesus from Galilee 
and Judea, and the sea-cost, and 
many countries about Jordan; and 
many infirm persons came to him, 
and he healed them all. 

33 And I heard the unclean spirits 
crying out, and saying, Thou art the 
Son of God. And Jesus strictly 
charged them, that they should not 
make him known. 

34 After this another person, whose 
name was Centurio, said, I saw Jesus 
in Capernaum, and I entreated him, 
saying, Lord, my servant lieth at 
home sick of the palsy. 

35 And Jesus said to me, I will come 
and cure him. 

36 But I said, Lord, I am not worthy 
that thou shouldst come under my 
roof; but only speak the word, and 
my servant shall be healed. 

37 And Jesus said unto me, Go thy 
way; and as thou hast believed so be 
it done unto thee. And my servant 
was healed from that same hour. 

38 Then a certain nobleman said, I 
had a son in Capernaum, who lay at 
the point of death; and when I heard 
that Jesus was come into Galilee, I 
went and besought him that he 
would come down to my house, and 
heal my son, for he was at the point 
of death. 

39 He said to me, Go thy way, thy 
son liveth. 

40 And my son was cured from that 
hour. 

41 Besides these, also many others 
of the Jews, both men and Women, 
cried out and said, He is truly the 
Son of God, who cures all diseases 
only by his word, and to whom the 
devils are altogether subject. 



42 Some of them farther said, This 
power can proceed from none but 
God. 

43 Pilate said to the Jews, Why are 
not the devils subject to your doc- 
tors? 

44 Some of them said, The power 
of subjecting devils cannot proceed 
but from God. 

45 But others said to Pilate, That he 
had raised Lazarus from the dead, 
after he had been four days in his 
grave. 

46 The governor hearing this, trem- 
bling, said to the multitude of the 
Jews, What will it profit you to shed 
innocent blood? 

CHAPTER VI. 

1 Pilate dismayed by the turbulence of the 
Jews, 5 who demand Barabbas to be re- 
leased, and Christ to be crucified. 9 Pil- 
ate warmly expostulates with them, 20 
washes his hands of Christ's blood, 23 
and sentences him to be whipped and cru- 
cified. 

THEN Pilate having called together 
Nicodemus, and the fifteen men who 
said that Jesus was not born through 
fornication, said to them, What shall 
I do, seeing there is like to be a tu- 
mult among the people. 

2 They say unto him, We know not; 
let them look to it who raise the tu- 
mult. 

3 Pilate then called the multitude 
again, and said to them, Ye know 
that ye have a custom, that I should 
release to you one prisoner at the 
feast of the passover: 

4 I have a noted prisoner, a murder- 
er, who is called Barabbas, and Jesus 
who is called Christ, in whom I find 
nothing that deserves death; which 
of them, therefore, have you a mind 
that I should release to you? 

5 They all cry out, and say, Release 
to us Barabbas. 



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NICODEMUS 



6 Pilate saith to them, What then 
shall I do with Jesus who is called 
Christ? 

7 They all answer, Let him be cruci- 
fied. 

8 Again they cry out and say to Pil- 
ate, You are not the friend of 
Caesar, if you release this man; for 
he hath declared that he is the Son 
of God, and a king. But are you in- 
clined that he should be king, and 
not Caesar? 

9 Then Pilate filled with anger said 
to them, Your nation hath always 
been seditious, and you are always 
against those who have been service- 
able to you. 

10 The Jews replied, Who are those 
who have been serviceable to us? 

11 Pilate answered them, Your God 
who delivered you from the hard 
bondage of the Egyptians, and 
brought you over the Red Sea as 
though it had been dry land, and fed 
you in the wilderness with manna 
and the flesh of quails, and brought 
water out of the rock, and gave you 
a law from heaven. 

12 Ye provoked him all ways, and 
desired for yourselves a molten calf, 
and worshipped it, and sacrificed to 
it, and said, These are thy Gods, O 
Israel, which brought thee out of the 
land of Egypt: 

13 On account of which your God 
was inclined to destroy you; but 
Moses interceded for you, and your 
God heard him, and forgave your 
iniquity. 

14 Afterwards ye were enraged 
against, and would have killed your 
prophets, Moses and Aaron, when 
they fled to the tabernacle, and ye 
were always murmuring against God 
and his prophets. 

15 And arising from his judgment 
seat, he would have gone out; but 
the Jews all cried out, "We acknow- 



ledge Caesar to be king, and not Je- 
sus; 

16 Whereas this person, as soon as 
he was born, the wise men came and 
offered gifts unto him; which when 
Herod heard, he was exceedingly 
troubled, and would have killed him: 

17 When his father knew this, he 
fled with him and his mother Mary 
into Egypt. Herod, when he heard he 
was born, would have slain him; and 
accordingly sent and slew all the 
children which were in Bethlehem, 
and in all the coasts thereof, from 
two years old and under. 

18 When Pilate heard this account, 
he was afraid; and commanding si- 
lence among the people, who made a 
noise, he said to Jesus, Art thou 
therefore a king? 

19 All the Jews replied to Pilate, he 
is the very person whom Herod 
sought to have slain. 

20 Then Pilate taking water, washed 
his hands before the people and said, 
I am innocent of the blood of this 
just person; look ye to it. 

21 The Jews answered and said, His 
blood be upon us and our children. 

22 Then Pilate commanded Jesus to 
be brought before him, and spake to 
him in the following words; 

23 Thy own nation hath charged 
thee as making thyself a king; where- 
fore I, Pilate, sentence thee to be 
whipped according to the laws of 
former governors; and that thou be 
first bound, then hanged upon a 
cross in that place where thou art 
now a prisoner; and also two crimin- 
als with thee, whose names are Di- 
mas and Gestas. 

CHAPTER VII. 

1 Manner of Christ's crucifixion with the 
two thieves. 

THEN Jesus went out of the hall, 
and the two thieves with him. 



9 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



2 And when they came to the place 
which is called Golgotha, they stript 
him of his raiment, and girt him 
about with a linen cloth, and put a 
crown of thorns upon his head, and 
put a reed in his hand. 

3 And in like manner did they to the 
two thieves who were crucified with 
him, Dimas on his right hand and 
Gestas on his left. 

4 But Jesus said, My Father, forgive 
them, For they know not what they 
do. 

5 And they divided his garments, 
and upon his vesture they cast lots. 

6 The people in the mean time 
stood by, and the chief priests and 
elders of the Jews mocked him, say- 
ing, He saved others, let him now 
save himself if he can; if he be the 
son of God, let him now come down 
from the cross. 

7 The soldiers also mocked him, and 
taking vinegar and gall, offered it to 
him to drink, and said to him, If 
thou art king of the Jews, deliver 
thyself. 

8 Then Longinus, a certain soldier, 
taking a spear,' pierced his side, and 
presently there came forth blood and 
water. 

9 And Pilate wrote the title upon 
the cross in Hebrew, Latin, and 
Greek letters, viz., THIS IS THE 
KING OF THE JEWS. 

10 But one of the two thieves who 
were crucified with Jesus, whose 
name was Gestas, said to Jesus, If 
thou art the Christ, deliver thyself 
and us. 

11 But the thief who was crucified 
on his right hand, whose name was 
Dimas, answering, rebuked him, and 
said, Dost not thou fear God, who 
art condemned to this punishment? 
We indeed receive rightly and justly 
the demerit of our actions; but this 
Jesus, what evil hath he done. 



12 After this, groaning, he said to 
Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou 
comest into thy kingdom. 

13 Jesus answering, said to him, 
Verily I say unto thee, that this day 
thou shalt be with me in Paradise. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

1 Miraculous appearance at his death. 10 
The Jews saj the eclipse was natural. 12 
Joseph of Arimathcea embalms Christ's 
body and buries it. 

AND it was about the sixth hour, 
and darkness was upon the face of 
the whole earth until the ninth hour. 

2 And while the sun was eclipsed, 
behold the veil of the temple was 
rent from the top, to the bottom; 
and the rocks also were rent, and the 
graves opened, and many bodies of 
saints, which slept, arose. 

3 And about the ninth hour Jesus 
cried out with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, 
lama sabacthani? which being inter- 
preted is, My God, My God, why 
hast thou forsaken me? 

4 And after these things, Jesus said, 
Father, into thy hands I commend 
my spirit; and having said this, he 
gave up the ghost. 

5 But when the centurion saw that 
Jesus thus crying out gave up the 
ghost, he glorified God, and said, Of 
a truth this was a just man. 

6 And all the people who stood by, 
were exceedingly troubled at the 
sight; and reflecting upon what had 
passed, smote upon their breasts, 
and then returned to the city of Jer- 
usalem. 

7 The centurion went to the gov- 
ernor, and related to him all that had 
passed: 

8 And when he had heard all these 
things, he was exceedingly sorrowful; 

9 And calling the Jews together, said 
to them, Have ye seen the miracle of 
the sun's eclipse, and the other 



10 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



things which came to pass, while Je- 
sus was dying? 

10 Which when the Jews heard, they 
answered to the governor, The ec- 
lipse of the sun happened according 
to its usual custom. 

11 But all those who were the ac- 
quaintance of Christ, stood at a dis- 
tance, as did the women who had 
followed Jesus from Galilee, ob- 
serving all these things. 

12 And behold a certain man of Ar- 
imathaea, named Joseph, who was 
also a disciple of Jesus, but not 
openly so, for fear of the Jews, came 
to the governor, and entreated the 
governor that he would give him 
leave to take away the body of Jesus 
from the cross. 

13 And the governor gave him leave. 

14 And Nicodemus came, bringing 
with him a mixture of myrrh and 
aloes about a hundred pounds 
weight; and they took down Jesus 
from the cross with tears, and bound 
him in linen cloths with spices, ac- 
cording to the custom of burying 
among the Jews; 

15 And placed him in a new tomb, 
which Joseph had built, and caused 
to be cut out of a rock, in which 
never any man had been put; and 
they rolled a great stone to the door 
of the sepulchre. 

CHAPTER IX. 

1 The Jews angry with Nicodemus: 5 and 
with, Joseph of Arimathaea, 7 whom they 
imprison. 

WHEN the unjust Jews heard that 
Joseph had begged and buried the 
body of Jesus, they sought after 
Nicodemus, and those fifteen men 
who had testified before the gov- 
ernor, that Jesus was not born 
through fornication, and other good 
persons who had shown any good ac- 
tions towards him. 



2 But when they all concealed them- 
selves through fear of the Jews, 
Nicodemus alone showed himself to 
them, and said, How can such per- 
sons as these enter into the syn- 
agogue? 

3 The Jews answered him, But how 
durst thou enter into the synagogue, 
who wast a confederate with Christ? 
Let thy lot be along with him in the 
other world. 

4 Nicodemus answered, Amen; so 
may it be, that I may have my lot 
with him in his kingdom. 

5 In like manner Joseph, when he 
came to the Jews, said to them, Why 
are ye angry with me for desiring the 
body of Jesus of Pilate? Behold, I 
have put him in my tomb, and 
wrapped him up in clean linen, and 
put a stone at the door of the sep- 
ulchre: 

6 I have acted rightly towards him; 
but ye have acted unjustly against 
that just person, in crucifying him, 
giving him vinegar to drink, crown- 
ing him with thorns, tearing his body 
with whips, and praying down the 
guilt of his blood upon you. 

7 The Jews at the hearing of this 
were disquieted and troubled; and 
they seized Joseph, and commanded 
him to be put in custody before the 
Sabbath, and kept there till the Sab- 
bath was over. 

8 And they said to him, Make con- 
fession; for at this time it is not law- 
ful to do thee any harm, till the first 
day of the week come. But we know 
that thou wilt not be thought worthy 
of a burial; but we will give thy flesh 
to the birds of the air, and the 
beasts of the earth. 

9 Joseph answered, That speech is 
like the speech of proud Goliath, 
who reproached the living God in 
speaking against David. But ye 
scribes and doctors know that God 



11 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



saith by the prophet, Vengeance is 
mine, and I will repay to you evil 
equal to that which ye have 
threatened to me. 

10 The God whom you have hanged 
upon the cross, is able to deliver me 
out of your hands. All your wicked- 
ness will return upon you. 

11 For the governor, when he 
washed his hands, said, I am clear 
from the blood of this just person. 
But ye answered and cried out, His 
blood be upon us and our children. 
According as ye have said, may ye 
perish for ever. 

12 The elders of the Jews hearing 
these words, were exceedingly en- 
raged; and seizing Joseph, they put 
him into a chamber where there was 
no window; they fastened the door, 
and put a seal upon the lock; 

13 And Annas and Caiaphas placed a 
guard upon it, and took counsel with 
the priests and Levites, that they 
should all meet after the Sabbath, 
and they contrived to what death 
they should put Joseph. 

14 When they had done this, the 
rulers, Annas and Caiaphas, ordered 
Joseph to be brought forth. (In this 
place there is a portion of the Gos- 
pel lost or omitted, which cannot be 
supplied. It may, nevertheless, be 
surmised from the occurrence re- 
lated in the next chapter, that the or- 
der of Annas and Caiaphas were 
rendered unnecessary by Joseph's 
miraculous escape, and which was 
announced to an assembly of 
people.) 

CHAPTER X. 

1 Joseph's escape. 2 The soldiers relate 
Christ's resurrection. 18 Christ is seen 
preaching in Galilee. 21 The Jews repent 
of their cruelty to him. 
WHEN all the assembly heard this 
(about Joseph's escape), they ad- 



mired and were astonished, because 
they found the same seal upon the 
lock of the chamber, and could not 
find Joseph. 

2 Then Annas and Caiaphas went 
forth, and while they were all admir- 
ing at Joseph's being gone, behold 
one of the soldiers, who kept the 
sepulchre of Jesus, spake in the as- 
sembly, 

3 That while they were guarding the 
sepulchre of Jesus, there was an 
earthquake; and we saw an angel of 
God roll away the stone of the sep- 
ulchre and sit upon it; 

4 And his countenance was like 
lightning and his garment like snow; 
and we became through fear like per- 
sons dead. 

5 And we heard an angel saying to 
the women at the sepulchre of Jesus, 
Do not fear; I know that you seek Je- 
sus who was crucified; he is risen as 
he foretold; 

6 Come and see the place where he 
was laid; and go presently, and tell 
his disciples that he is risen from the 
dead; and he will go before you into 
Galilee; there ye shall see him as he 
told you. 

7 Then the Jews called together all 
the soldiers who kept the sepulchre 
of Jesus, and said to them, Who are 
those women, to whom the angel 
spoke? Why did ye not seize them. 

8 The soldiers answered and said, 
We know not who the women were; 
besides we became as dead persons 
through fear, and how could we seize 
those women? 

9 The Jews said to them, As the 
Lord liveth, we do not believe you; 

10 The soldiers answering said to 
the Jews, when ye saw and heard Je- 
sus working so many miracles, and 
did not believe him, how should ye 
believe us? Ye well said, As the Lord 
liveth, for the Lord truly does live. 



12 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



11 We have heard that ye shut up 
Joseph, who buried the body of Je- 
sus, in a chamber, under a lock 
which was sealed; and when ye 
opened it, found him not there. 

12 Do ye then produce Joseph 
whom ye put under guard in the 
chamber, and we will produce Jesus 
whom we guarded in the sepulchre. 

13 The Jews answered and said, We 
will produce Joseph, do ye produce 
Jesus. But Joseph is in his own city 
of Arimathaea. 

14 The soldiers replied, If Joseph 
be in Arimathaea, and Jesus in Ga- 
lilee, we heard the angel inform the 
women. 

15 The Jews hearing this, were 
afraid, and said among themselves, 
If by any means these things should 
become public, then everybody will 
believe in Jesus. 

16 Then they gathered a large sum 
of money, and gave it to the soldiers, 
saying, Do ye tell the people that the 
disciples of Jesus came in the night 
when ye were asleep, and stole away 
the body of Jesus; and if Pilate the 
governor should hear of this, we will 
satisfy him and secure you. 

17 The soldiers accordingly took the 
money, and said as they were instruc- 
ted by the Jews; and their report was 
spread abroad among all the people. 

18 But a certain priest Phinees, Ada 
a schoolmaster, and a Levite, named 
Ageus, they three came from Galilee 
to Jerusalem, and told the chief 
priests and all who were in the syn- 
agogues, saying, 

19 We have seen Jesus, whom ye 
crucified, talking with his eleven dis- 
ciples, and sitting in the midst of 
them in Mount Olivet, and saying to 
them, 

20 Go forth into the whole world, 
preach the Gospel to all nations, 
baptizing them in the name of the 



Father, and the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost; and whosoever shall believe 
and be baptized, shall be saved. 

21 And when he had said these 
things to his disciples, we saw him 
ascending up to heaven. 

22 When the chief priests and eld- 
ers, and Levites heard these things, 
they said to these three men, Give 
glory to the God of Israel, and make 
confession to him, whether those 
things are true, which ye say ye have 
seen and heard. 

23 They answering said, As the Lord 
of our fathers liveth, the God of 
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and 
the God of Jacob, according as we 
heard Jesus talking with his disciples, 
and according as we saw him ascend- 
ing up to heaven, so we have related 
the truth to you. 

24 And the three men farther 
answered, and said, adding these 
words, If we should not own the 
words which we heard Jesus speak, 
and that we saw him ascending into 
heaven, we should be guilty of sin. 

25 Then the chief priests immedi- 
ately rose up, and holding the book 
of the law in their hands, conjured 
these men, saying, Ye shall no more 
hereafter declare those things which 
ye have spoken concerning Jesus. 

26 And they gave them a large sum 
of money, and sent other persons 
along with them, who should con- 
duct them to their own country, that 
they might not by any means make 
any stay at Jerusalem. 

27 Then the Jews did assemble all 
together, and having expressed the 
most lamentable concern said, What 
is this extraordinary thing which is 
come to pass in Jerusalem? 

28 But Annas and Caiaphas comfor- 
ted them, saying, Why should we be- 
lieve the soldiers who guarded the 
sepulchre of Jesus, in telling us, that 



13 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



an angel rolled away the stone from 
the door of the sepulchre? 

29 Perhaps his own disciples told 
them this, and gave them money that 
they should say so, and they them- 
selves took away the body of Jesus. 

30 Besides, consider this, that there 
is no credit to be given to foreigners, 
because they also took a large sum 
of us, and they have declared to us 
according to the instructions which 
we gave them. They must either be 
faithful to us or to the disciples of 
Jesus. 

CHAPTER XL 

1 Nicodemus counsels the Jews. 6 Joseph 
found. 11 Invited by the Jews to return. 19 
delates the manner of his miraculous es- 
cape. 

THEN Nicodemus arose, and said, 
Ye say right, O sons of Israel; ye 
have heard what those three men 
have sworn by the Law of God, who 
said, We have seen Jesus speaking 
with his disciples upon mount Oliv- 
et, and we saw him ascending up to 
heaven. 

2 And the scripture teacheth us that 
the blessed prophet Elijah was taken 
up to heaven, and Elisha being asked 
by the sons of the prophets, Where 
is our father Elijah? He said to them, 
that he is taken up to heaven. 

3 And the sons of the prophets said 
to him, Perhaps the spirit hath car- 
ried him into one of the mountains 
of Israel, there perhaps we shall find 
him. And they besought Elisha, and 
he walked about with them three 
days, and they could not find him. 

4 And now hear me, O sons of Is- 
rael, and let us send men into the 
mountains of Israel, lest perhaps the 
spirit hath carried away Jesus, and 
there perhaps we shall find him, and 
be satisfied. 



5 And the counsel of Nicodemus 
pleased all the people; and they sent 
forth men who sought for Jesus, but 
could not find him; and they return- 
ing, said, We went all about, but 
could not find Jesus, but we have 
found Joseph in his city of Arimath- 
aea. 

6 The rulers hearing this, and all the 
people, were glad, and praised the 
God of Israel, because Joseph was 
found, whom they had shut up in a 
chamber, and could not find. 

7 And when they had formed a large 
assembly, the chief priests said, By 
what means shall we bring Joseph to 
us to speak with him? 

8 And taking a piece of paper, they 
wrote to him, and said, Peace be 
with thee, and all thy family, We 
know that we have offended against 
God and thee. Be pleased to give a 
visit to us, your fathers, for we were 
perfectly surprised at your escape 
from prison. 

9 We know that it was malicious 
counsel which we took against thee, 
and that the Lord took care of thee, 
and the Lord himself delivered thee 
from our designs. Peace be unto 
thee, Joseph, who art honourable 
among all the people. 

10 And they chose seven of Joseph's 
friends, and said to them, When ye 
come to Joseph, salute him in peace, 
and give him this letter. 

11 Accordingly, when the men came 
to Joseph, they did salute him in 
peace, and gave him the letter. 

12 And when Joseph had read it, he 
said, Blessed be the Lord God, who 
didst deliver me from the Israelites, 
that they could not shed my blood. 
Blessed be God, who hast protected 
me under thy wings. 

13 And Joseph kissed them, and 
took them into his house. And on 
the morrow, Joseph mounted his ass, 



14 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



and went along with them to Jerus- 
alem. 

14 And when all the Jews heard 
these things, they went out to meet 
him, and cried out, saying, Peace at- 
tend thy coming hither, father 
Joseph. 

15 To which he answered, Prosperity 
from the Lord attend all the people. 

13 And they all kissed him; and 
Nicodemus took him to his house, 
having prepared a large entertain- 
ment. 

17 But on the morrow, being a pre- 
paration-day, Annas, and Caiaphas, 
and Nicodemus, said to Joseph, 
Make confession to the God of Is- 
rael, and answer to us all those ques- 
tions which we shall ask thee; 

18 For we have been very much 
troubled, that thou didst bury the 
body of Jesus; and that when we had 
locked thee in a chamber, we could 
not find thee; and we have been 
afraid ever since, till this time of thy 
appearing among us. Tell us there- 
fore before God, all that came to 
pass. 

19 Then Joseph answering, said Ye 
did indeed put me under confine- 
ment, on the day of preparation, till 
the morning. 

20 But while I was standing at pray- 
er in the middle of the night, the 
house was surrounded with four an- 
gels; and I saw Jesus as the bright- 
ness of the sun, and fell down upon 
the earth for fear. 

21 But Jesus laying hold on my 
hand, lifted me from the ground, and 
the dew was then sprinkled upon me; 
but he, wiping my face, kissed me, 
and said unto me, Fear not, Joseph; 
look upon me for it is I. 

22 Then I looked upon him, and 
said, Rabboni Elias! He answered 
me, I am not Elias, but Jesus of 



Nazareth, whose body thou didst 
bury. 

23 I said to him, show me the tomb 
in which I laid thee. 

24 Then Jesus, taking me by the 
hand, led me unto the place where I 
laid him, and showed me the linen 
clothes, and napkin which I put 
round his head. Then I knew that it 
was Jesus, and worshipped him, and 
said; Blessed be he who cometh in 
the name of the Lord. 

25 Jesus again taking me by the 
hand, led me to Arimathaea, to my 
own house, and said to me, Peace be 
to thee; but go not out of thy house 
till the fortieth day; but I must go to 
my disciples. 

CHAPTER XII. 

1 The Jews astonished and confounded. 16 
Simeon's two sons, Charinus and Tenthi- 
us, rise from the dead at Christ' s cruci- 
fixion. 19 Joseph proposes to get them to 
relate the mysteries of their resurrection. 
21 They are sought and found, 22 brought 
to the synagogue, 23 privately sworn to 
secrecy, 25 and undertake to write what 
they had seen. 

WHEN the chief priests and Levites 
heard all these things, they were as- 
tonished, and fell down with their 
faces on the ground as dead men, 
and crying out to one another, said, 
What is this extraordinary sign which 
is come to pass in Jerusalem? We 
know the father and mother of Jesus. 

2 And a certain Levite said, I know 
many of his relations, religions per- 
sons, who are wont to offer sacri- 
fices and burnt-offerings to the God 
of Israel, in the temple, with prayers. 

3 And when the high-priest Simeon 
took him up in his arms, he said to 
him, Lord, now lettest thou thy ser- 
vant depart in peace, according to 
thy word; for mine eyes have seen 
thy salvation, which then halt pre- 



15 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



pared before the face of all people; a 
light to enlighten the Gentiles, and 
the glory of thy people Israel. 

4 Simeon in like manner blessed 
Mary the Mother of Jesus, and said 
to her, I declare to thee concerning 
that child; He is appointed for the 
fall and rising again of many, and for 
a sign which shall be spoken against; 

5 Yea, a sword shall pierce through 
thine own soul also, and the 
thoughts of many hearts shall he re- 
vealed. 

6 Then said all the Jews, Let us send 
to those three men, who said they 
saw him talking with his disciples in 
mount Olivet. 

7 After this, they asked them what 
they had seen; who answered with 
one accord, In the presence of the 
God of Israel we affirm, that we 
plainly saw Jesus talking with his dis- 
ciples in Mount Olivet, and ascend- 
ing up to heaven. 

8 Then Annas and Caiaphas took 
them into separate places, and ex- 
amined them separately; who unan- 
imously confessed the truth, and 
said, they had seen Jesus. 

9 Then Annas and Caiaphas said 
"Our law saith, By the mouth of two 
or three witnesses every word shall 
be established." 

10 But what have we said? The 
blessed Enoch pleased God, and was 
translated by the word of God; and 
the burying-place of the blessed 
Moses is known. 

11 But Jesus was delivered to Pilate, 
whipped, crowned with thorns, spit 
upon, pierced with a spear, crucified, 
died upon the cross, and was buried, 
and his body the honourable Joseph 
buried in a new sepulchre, and he 
testifies that he saw him alive. 

12 And besides, these men have de- 
clared, that they saw him talking 



with his disciples in Mount Olivet, 
and ascending up to heaven. 

13 Then Joseph rising up, said to 
Annas and Caiaphas, Ye may be 
justly under a great surprise, that 
you have been told, that Jesus is 
alive, and gone up to heaven. 

14 It is indeed a thing really surpris- 
ing, that he should not only himself 
arise from the dead, but also raise 
others from their graves, who have 
been seen by many in Jerusalem. 

15 And now hear me a little We all 
knew the blessed Simeon, the high- 
priest, who took Jesus when an in- 
fant into his arms in the temple. 

16 This same Simeon had two sons 
of his own, and we were all present 
at their death and funeral. 

17 Go therefore and see their 
tombs, for these are open, and they 
are risen: and behold, they are in the 
city of Arimathaea, spending their 
time together in offices of devotion. 

18 Some, indeed, have heard the 
sound of their voices in prayer, but 
they will not discourse with anyone, 
but they continue as mute as dead 
men. 

19 But come, let us go to them, and 
behave ourselves towards them with 
all due respect and caution. And if 
we can bring them to swear, perhaps 
they will tell us some of the myster- 
ies of their resurrection. 

20 When the Jews heard this they 
were exceedingly rejoiced. 

21 Then Annas and Caiaphas, 
Nicodemus, Joseph, and Gamaliel, 
went to Arimathaea, but did not find 
them in their graves; but walking 
about the city, they found them on 
their bended knees at their devo- 
tions: 

22 Then saluting them with all re- 
spect and deference to God, they 
brought them to the synagogue at 
Jerusalem; and having shut the gates, 



16 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



they took the book of the law of the 
Lord, 

23 And putting it in their hands, 
swore them by God Adonai, and the 
God of Israel, who spake to our 
fathers by the law and the prophets, 
saying, If ye believe him who raised 
you from the dead, to be Jesus, tell 
us what ye have seen, and how ye 
were raised from the dead. 

24 Charinus and Lenthius, the two 
sons of Simeon, trembled when they 
heard these things, and were dis- 
turbed, and groaned; and at the same 
time looking up to heaven, they 
made the sign of the cross with their 
fingers on their tongues, 

25 And immediately they spake, and 
said, Give each of us some paper, 
and we will write down for you all 
those things which we have seen. 
And they each sat down and wrote, 
saying: — 

CHAPTER XIII. 

1 The narrative of Charinus and Lenthi- 
us commences. 3 A great light in hell. 7 
Simeon arrives, and announces the coming 
of Christ. 

O LORD Jesus and Father, who art 
God, also the resurrection and life 
of the dead, give us leave to declare 
thy mysteries, which we saw after 
death, belonging to thy cross; for we 
are sworn by thy name. 

2 For thou hast forbidden thy ser- 
vants to declare the secret things, 
which were wrought by thy divine 
power in hell. 

3 When we were Placed with our 
fathers in the dept of hell, in the 
blackness of darkness, on a sudden 
there appeared the colour of the sun 
like gold, and a substantial purple- 
coloured light enlightening the place. 

4 Presently upon this, Adam, the 
father of all mankind, with all the 
patriarchs and prophets, rejoiced and 



said, That light is the author of 
everlasting light, who hath promised 
to translate us to everlasting light. 

5 Then Isaiah the prophet cried out 
and said, This is the light of the 
Father, and the Son of God, accord- 
ing to my prophecy, when I was alive 
upon earth. 

6 The land of Zabulon, and the land 
of Nephthalim, beyond Jordan, a 
people who walked in darkness, saw 
a great light; and to them who dwell- 
ed in the region of the shadow of 
death, light is arisen. And now he is 
come, and hath enlightened us who 
sat in death. 

7 And while we were all rejoicing in 
the light which shone upon us, our 
father Simeon came among us, and 
congratulating all the company, said, 
Glorify the Lord Jesus Christ the 
Son of God. 

8 Whom I took up in my arms when 
an infant in the temple, and being 
moved by the Holy Ghost, said to 
him, and acknowledged, That now 
mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 
which thou hast prepared before the 
face of all people; a light to enlight- 
en the Gentiles, and the glory of thy 
people Israel. 

9 All the saints who were in the 
depth of hell, hearing this, rejoiced 
the more. 

10 Afterwards there came forth one 
like a little hermit, and was asked by 
every one, Who art thou? 

11 To which he replied, I am the 
voice of one crying in the wilder- 
ness, John the Baptist, and the 
prophet of the Most High, who went 
before his coming to prepare his 
way, to give the knowledge of salva- 
tion to his people for the forgiveness 
of sins. 

12 And I, John, when I saw Jesus 
coming to me, being moved by the 
Holy Ghost, I said, Behold the Lamb 



17 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



of God, behold him who takes away 
the sins of the world. 

13 And I baptized him in the river 
Jordan, and saw the Holy Ghost des- 
cending upon him in the form of a 
dove, and heard a voice from heaven 
saying, This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased. 

14 And now while I was going be- 
fore him, I came down hither to ac- 
quaint you, that the Son of God will 
next visit us, and, as the day-spring 
from on high, will come to us, who 
are in darkness and the shadow of 
death. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

1 Adam causes Seth to relate what he 
heard from Michael the archangel, when 
he sent him to Paradise to entreat God to 
anoint his head in his sickness. 

BUT when the first man our father 
Adam heard these things, that Jesus 
was baptized in Jordan, he called out 
to his son Seth, and said, 

2 Declare to your sons, the patri- 
archs and prophets, all those things, 
which thou didst hear from Michael, 
the archangel, when I sent thee to 
the gates of Paradise, to entreat God 
that he would annoint my head when 
I was sick. 

3 Then Seth, coming near to the 
patriarchs and prophets, said, I, 
Seth, when I was praying to God at 
the gates of Paradise, beheld the an- 
gel of the Lord, Michael, appear 
unto me, saying, I am sent unto thee 
from the Lord; I am appointed to 
preside over human bodies. 

4 I tell thee, Seth, do not pray to 
God in tears, and entreat him for the 
oil of the tree of mercy wherewith 
to anoint thy father Adam for his 
head-ache; 

5 Because thou canst not by any 
means obtain it till the last day and 



times, namely, till five thousand and 
five hundred years be past. 

6 Then will Christ, the most merci- 
ful Son of God, come on earth to 
raise again the human body of 
Adam, and at the same time to raise 
the bodies of the dead, and when he 
cometh he will be baptized in 
Jordan; 

7 Then with the oil of his mercyhe 
will anoint all those who believe in 
him; and the oil of his mercy will 
continue to future generations, for 
those who shall be born of the water 
and the Holy Ghost unto eternal life. 

8 And when at that time the most 
merciful Son of God, Christ Jesus, 
shall come down on earth, he will in- 
troduce our father Adam into Para- 
dise, to the tree of mercy. 

9 When all the patriarchs and 
prophets heard all these things from 
Seth, they rejoiced more. 

CHAPTER XV. 

1 Quarrel between Satan and the prince 
of hell, concerning the expected arrival of 
Christ in hell. 

WHILE all the saints were rejoicing, 
behold Satan, the prince and captain 
of death, said to the prince of hell, 

2 Prepare to receive Jesus of Naz- 
areth himself, who boasted that he 
was the Son of God, and yet was a 
man afraid of death, and said, My 
soul is sorrowful even to death. 

3 Besides he did many injuries to 
me and to many others; for those 
whom I made blind and lame and 
those also whom I tormented with 
several devils, he cured by his word; 
yea, and those whom I brought dead 
to thee, he by force takes away from 
thee. 

4 To this the prince of hell replied 
to Satan, Who is that so powerful 
prince, and yet a man who is afraid 
of death? 



18 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



5 For all the potentates of the earth 
are subject to my power, whom thou 
broughtest to subjection by thy 
power. 

6 But if he be so powerful in his 
human nature, I affirm to thee for 
truth, that he is almighty in his di- 
vine nature, and no man can resist 
his power: 

7 When therefore he said he was 
afraid of death, he designed to en- 
snare thee, and unhappy it will be to 
thee for everlasting ages, 

8 Then Satan replying, said to the 
prince of hell, Why didst thou ex- 
press a doubt, and wast afraid to re- 
ceive that Jesus of Nazareth, both 
thy adversary and mine? 

9 As for me, I tempted him and 
stirred up my old people the Jews 
with zeal and anger against him; 

10 I sharpened the spear for his suf- 
fering; I mixed the gall and vinegar, 
and commanded that he should drink 
it; I prepared the cross to crucify 
him, and the nails to pierce through 
his hands and feet; and now his 
death is near at hand, I will bring 
him hither, subject both to thee and 
me. 

11 Then the prince of hell answer- 
ing, said, Thou saidst to me just 
now, that he took away the dead 
from me by force. 

12 They who have been kept here 
till they should live again upon 
earth, were taken away hence, not by 
their own power, but by prayers 
made to God, and their almighty 
God took them from me. 

13 Who then is that Jesus of Naz- 
areth that by his word hath taken 
away the dead from me without pray- 
er to God? 

14 Perhaps it is the same who took 
away from me Lazarus, after he had 
been four days dead, and did both 
stink and was rotten, and of whom I 



had possession as a dead person, yet 
he brought him to life again by his 
power. 

15 Satan answering, replied to the 
prince of hell, It is the very same 
person, Jesus of Nazareth. 

16 Which when the prince of hell 
heard, he said to him, I adjure thee 
by the powers which belong to thee 
and me, that thou bring him not to 
me. 

17 For when I heard of the power 
of his word, I trembled for fear, and 
all my impious company were at the 
same disturbed; 

18 And we were not able to detain 
Lazarus, but he gave himself a 
shake, and with all the signs of 
malice he immediately went away 
from us; and the very earth, in which 
the dead body of Lazarus was 
lodged, presently turned him out 
alive. 

19 And I know now that he is 
Almighty God who could perform 
such things, who is mighty in his 
dominion, and mighty in his human 
nature, who is the Saviour of man- 
kind. 

20 Bring not therefore this person 
hither, for he will set at liberty all 
those whom I hold in prison under 
unbelief, and bound with the fetters 
of their sins, and will conduct them 
to everlasting life. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

1 Christ's arrival at hell-gates; the confu- 
sion thereupon. 19 He descends into hell. 
AND while Satan and the Prince of 
hell were discoursing thus to each 
other, on a sudden there was a voice 
as of thunder, and the rushing of 
winds, saying, Lift up your gates, O 
ye princes; and be ye lift up, O ever- 
lasting gates, and the King of Glory 
shall come in. 



19 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



2 When the prince of hell heard 
this, he said to Satan, Depart from 
me, and begone out of my habita- 
tions; if thou art a powerful warrior, 
fight with the King of Glory. But 
what hast thou to do with him? 

3 And he cast him forth from his 
habitations. 

4 And the prince said to his impious 
officers, Shut the brass gates of 
cruelty, and make them fast with iron 
bars, and fight courageously, lest we 
be taken captives. 

5 But when all the company of the 
saints heard this they spake with a 
loud voice of anger to the prince of 
hell, 

6 Open thy gates, that the King of 
Glory may come in. 

7 And the divine prophet David 
cried out, saying, Did not I, when on 
earth, truly prophesy and say, O that 
men would praise the Lord for his 
goodness, and for his wonderful 
works to the children of men! 

8 For he hath broken the gates of 
brass, and cut the bars of iron in 
sunder. He hath taken them because 
of their iniquity, and because of 
their unrighteousness they are afflic- 
ted. 

9 After this, another prophet, 
namely, holy Isaiah, spake in like 
manner to all the saints, Did not I 
rightly prophesy to you when I was 
alive on earth? 

10 The dead men shall live, and they 
shall rise again who are in their 
graves, and they shall rejoice who are 
in the earth; for the dew which is 
from the Lord, shall bring deliver- 
ance to them. 

11 And I said in another place, O 
grave, where is thy victory? O death, 
where is thy sting? 

12 When all the saints heard these 
things spoken by Isaiah, they said to 
the prince of hell, Open now thy 



gates, and take away thine iron bars; 
for thou wilt now be bound, and 
have no power. 

13 Then was there a great voice, as 
of the sound of thunder, saying, Lift 
up your gates, O princes; and be ye 
lifted up, ye gates of hell, and the 
King of Glory will enter in. 

14 The prince of hell perceiving the 
same voice repeated, cried out, as 
though he had been ignorant, Who is 
that King of Glory? 

15 David replied to the prince of 
hell, and said, I understand the 
words of that voice, because I spake 
them in his spirit. And now, as I 
have before said, I say unto thee, the 
Lord strong and powerful, the Lord 
mighty in battle: he is the King of 
Glory, and he is the Lord in heaven 
and in earth. 

16 He hath looked down to hear the 
groans of the prisoners, and to set 
loose those that are appointed to 
death. 

17 And now, thou filthy and stinking 
prince of hell, open thy gates, that 
the King of Glory may enter in; for 
he is the Lord of heaven and earth. 

18 While David was saying this, the 
mighty Lord appeared in the form of 
a man, and enlightened those places 
which had ever before been in dark- 
ness. 

19 And broke asunder the fetters 
which before could not be broken; 
and with his invincible power visited 
those who sate in the deep darkness 
by iniquity, and the shadow of death 
by sin. 

CHAPTER XVII. 

1 Death and the devils in great horror at 
Christ ' s coming. 13 He tramples on death, 
seizes the prince of hell, and takes Adam 
with him to Heaven. 

IMPIOUS death and her cruel of- 
ficers hearing these things, were 



20 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



seized with fear in their several king- 
doms, when they saw the clearness 
of the light, 

2 And Christ himself on a sudden 
appearing in their habitations, they 
cried out therefore, and said, We are 
bound by thee; thou seemest to in- 
tend our confusion before the Lord. 

3 Who art thou, who has no signs 
of corruption, but that bright ap- 
pearance which is a full proof of thy 
greatness, of which yet thou seemest 
to take no notice? 

4 Who art thou, so powerful, and so 
weak, so great and so little; mean, 
and yet a soldier of the first rank, 
who can command in the form of a 
servant and a common soldier? 

5 The king of Glory, dead and alive, 
though once slain upon the cross? 

6 Who layest dead in the grave, and 
art come down alive to us, and in thy 
death all the creatures trembled, and 
all the stars were moved; and now 
hast thy liberty among the dead, and 
givest disturbance to our legions? 

7 Who art thou, who dost release 
the captives that were held in chains 
by original sin, and bringest them 
into their former liberty? 

8 Who art thou, who dost spread so 
glorious and divine a light over those 
who were made blind by the dark- 
ness of sin? 

9 In like manner all the legions of 
devils were seized with the like hor- 
ror, and with the most submissive 
fear cried out, and said, 

10 Whence comes it, O thou Jesus 
Christ, that thou art a man so power- 
ful and glorious in majesty so bright 
as to have no spot, and so pure as to 
have no crime? For that lower world 
of earth, which was ever till now 
subject to us, and from whence we 
received tribute, never sent us such a 
dead man before, never sent such 



presents as these to the princes of 
hell. 

11 Who therefore art thou, who with 
such courage enterest among our 
abodes, and art not only not afraid 
to threaten us with the greatest pun- 
ishments, but also endeavourest to 
rescue all others from the chains in 
which we hold them? 

12 Perhaps thou art that Jesus, of 
whom Satan just now spoke to our 
prince, that by the death of the cross 
thou wert about to receive the power 
of death. 

13 Then the King of Glory tramp- 
ling upon death, seized the prince of 
hell, deprived him of all his power, 
and took our earthly father Adam 
with him to his glory. 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

1 Beelzebub, prince of hell, vehemently 
upbraids Satan for persecuting Christ and 
bringing him to hell. 14 Christ gives 
Beelzebub dominion over Satan forever, as 
a recompence for taking away Adam and 
his sons. 

THEN the prince of hell took 
Satan, and with great indignation 
said to him, O thou prince of de- 
struction, author of Beelzebub's de- 
feat and banishment, the scorn of 
God's angels and loathed by all 
righteous persons! What inclined 
thee to act thus? 

2 Thou wouldst crucify the King of 
Glory, and by his destruction, hast 
made us promises of very large ad- 
vantages, but as a fool wert ignorant 
of what thou wast about. 

3 For behold now that Jesus of 
Nazareth, with the brightness of his 
glorious divinity, puts to flight all 
the horrid powers of darkness and 
death; 

4 He has broke down our prisons 
from top to bottom, dismissed all 
the captives, released all who were 



21 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



bound, and all who were wont 
formerly to groan under the weight 
of their torments, have now insulted 
us, and we are like to be defeated by 
their prayers. 

5 Our impious dominions are sub- 
dued, and no part of mankind is now 
left in our subjection, but on the 
other hand, they all boldly defy us; 

6 Though, before, the dead never 
durst behave themselves insolently 
towards us, nor being prisoners, 
could ever on any occasion be merry. 

7 O Satan, thou prince of all the 
wicked, father of the impious and 
abandoned, why wouldest thou at- 
tempt this exploit, seeing our prison- 
ers were hitherto always without the 
least hope of salvation and life? 

8 But now there is not one of them 
does ever groan, nor is there the 
least appearance of a tear in any of 
their faces. 

9 O prince Satan, thou great keeper 
of the infernal regions, all thy ad- 
vantages which thou didst acquire by 
the forbidden tree, and the loss of 
Paradise, thou hast now lost by the 
wood of the cross; 

10 And thy happiness all then ex- 
pired, when thou didst crucify Jesus 
Christ the King of Glory. 

11 Thou hast acted against thine 
own interest and mine, as thou wilt 
presently perceive by those large tor- 
ments and infinite punishments 
which thou art about to suffer. 

12 O Satan, prince of all evil, au- 
thor of death, and source of all 
pride, thou shouldest first have in- 
quired into the evil crimes of Jesus 
of Nazareth, and then thou wouldest 
have found that he was guilty of no 
fault worthy of death. 

13 Why didst thou venture, without 
either reason or justice, to crucify 
him, and hast brought down to our 
regions a person innocent and right- 



eous, and thereby hast lost all the 
sinners, impious and unrighteous 
persons in the whole world? 
14 While the prince of hell was thus 
speaking to Satan, the King of Glory 
said to Beelzebub the prince of hell, 
Satan the prince shall he subject to 
thy dominions for ever, in the room 
of Adam and his righteous sons, who 
are mine, 

CHAPTER XIX. 

1 Christ takes Adam by the hand, the 
rest of the saints join hands, and thej all 
ascend with him to Paradise. 

THEN Jesus stretched forth his 
hand, and said, Come to me, all ye 
my saints, who were created in my 
image, who were condemned by the 
tree of the forbidden fruit, and by 
the devil and death; 

2 Live now by the wood of my 
cross; the devil, the prince of this 
world, is overcome, and death is 
conquered, 

3 Then presently all the saints were 
joined together under the hand of 
the most high God; and the Lord Je- 
sus laid hold on Adam's hand, and 
said to him, Peace be to thee, and all 
thy righteous posterity, which is 
mine. 

4 Then Adam, casting himself at the 
feet of Jesus, addressed himself to 
him with tears, in humble language, 
and a loud voice, saying, 

5 "I will extol thee, O Lord, for 
thou halt lifted me up, and hast not 
made my foes to rejoice over me. O 
Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and 
thou hast healed me." 

6 "O Lord thou hast brought up my 
soul from the grave; thou hast kept 
me alive, that I should not go down 
to the pit." 

7 "Sing unto the Lord, all ye saints 
of his, and give thanks at the re- 
membrance of his holiness, for his 



22 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



anger endureth but for a moment; in 
his favour is life." 

8 In like manner all the saints, pros- 
trate at the feet of Jesus, said with 
one voice, Thou art come, O Re- 
deemer of the world, and hast actu- 
ally accomplished all things, which 
thou didst foretell by the law and thy 
holy prophets. 

9 Thou hast redeemed the living by 
thy cross, and art come down to us, 
that by the death of the cross thou 
mightest deliver us from hell, and by 
thy power from death. 

10 O Lord, as thou hast put the en- 
signs of thy glory in heaven, and 
hast set up the sign of thy redemp- 
tion, even thy cross on earth; so, 
Lord, set the sign of the victory of 
thy cross in hell, that death may have 
dominion no longer. 

11 Then the Lord stretching forth 
his hand, made the sign of the cross 
upon Adam, and upon all his saints. 

12 And taking hold of Adam by his 
right hand, he ascended from hell, 
and all the saints of God followed 
him. 

13 Then the royal prophet, David, 
boldly cried, and said, O sing unto 
the Lord a new song, for he hath 
done marvellous things; his right 
hand and his holy arm have gotten 
him the victory. 

14 The Lord hath made known his 
salvation, his righteousness hath he 
openly shewn in the sight of the 
heathen. 

15 And the whole multitude of 
saints answered, saying, This honour 
have all his saints, Amen, Praise ye 
the Lord. 

16 Afterwards, the prophet Habbak- 
uk cried out, and said, Thou wentest 
forth for the salvation of thy people, 
even for salvation with thine anoin- 
ted. 



17 And all the saints said, Blessed is 
he who cometh in the name of the 
Lord; for the Lord hath enlightened 
us. This is our God for ever and 
ever; he shall reign over us to ever- 
lasting ages. Amen. 

18 In like manner all the prophets 
spake the sacred things of his praise, 
and followed the Lord. 

CHAPTER XX. 

1 Christ delivers Adam to Michael the 
archangel. 3 They meet Enoch and Elijah 
in heaven, 5 and also the blessed thief, 
who relates how he came to Paradise. 

THEN the Lord, holding Adam by 
the hand, delivered him to Michael 
the archangel; and he led them into 
Paradise, filled with mercy and glory; 

2 And two very ancient men met 
them, and were asked by the saints, 
Who are ye, who have not yet been 
with us in hell, and have had your 
bodies placed in Paradise? 

3 One of them answering, said, I am 
Enoch, who was translated by the 
word of God: and this man who is 
with me, is Elijah the Tishbite, who 
was translated in a fiery chariot. 

4 Here we have hitherto been, and 
have not tasted death, but are now 
about to return at the coming of An- 
tichrist, being armed with divine 
signs and miracles, to engage with 
him in battle, and to be slain by him 
at Jerusalem, and to be taken up 
alive again into the clouds, after 
three days and a half. 

5 And while the holy Enoch and 
Elias were relating this, behold there 
came another man in a miserable fig- 
ure, carrying the sign of the cross 
upon his shoulders. 

6 And when all the saints saw him, 
they said to him, Who art thou? For 
thy countenance is like a thief's; and 
why dost thou carry a cross upon thy 
shoulders? 



23 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



7 To which he answering, said, Ye 
say right, for I was a thief, who com- 
mitted all sorts of wicked, ness upon 
earth. 

8 And the Jews crucified me with 
Jesus; and I observed the surprising 
things which happened in the cre- 
ation at the crucifixion of the Lord 
Jesus. 

9 And I believed him to be the Cre- 
ator of all things, and the Almighty 
King; and I prayed to him, saying, 
Lord remember me, when thou 
comest into thy kingdom. 

10 He presently regarded my sup- 
plication, and said to me, Verily I say 
unto thee, this day thou shalt be 
with me in Paradise. 

11 And he gave me this sign of the 
cross, saying, Carry this, and go to 
Paradise; and if the angel who is the 
guard of Paradise will not admit 
thee, show him the sign of the cross, 
and say unto him Jesus Christ who is 
now crucified, hath sent me hither to 
thee. 

12 When I did this and told the an- 
gel who is the guard of Paradise all 
these things, and he heard them, he 
presently opened the gates, intro- 
duced me, and placed me on the 
right hand in Paradise, 

13 Saying, Stay here a little time, till 
Adam, the father of all mankind, 
shall enter in, with all his sons, who 
are the holy and righteous servants 
of Jesus Christ, who was crucified. 

14 When they heard all this account 
from the thief, all the patriarchs said 
with one voice, Blessed be thou, O 
Almighty God, the Father of ever- 
lasting goodness, and the Father of 
mercies, who hast shown such favour 
to those who were sinners against 
him, and hast brought them to the 
mercy of Paradise, and hast placed 
them amidst thy large and spiritual 



provisions, in a spiritual and holy 
life. Amen. 

CHAPTER XXI. 

1 Charinus and l^enthius being only al- 
lowed three days to remain on earth, 7 de- 
liver in their narratives, which miracu- 
lously correspond; they vanish, 13 and Pi- 
late records these transactions. 

THESE are the divine and sacred 
mysteries which we saw and heard. 
We, Charinus and Lenthius are not 
allowed to declare the other myster- 
ies of God, as the archangel Michael 
ordered us, 

2 Saying, ye shall go with my 
brethren to Jerusalem, and shall con- 
tinue in prayers, declaring and glori- 
fying the resurrection of Jesus 
Christ, seeing he hath raised you 
from the dead at the same time with 
himself. 

3 And ye shall not talk with any 
man, but sit as dumb persons till the 
time come when the Lord will allow 
you to relate the mysteries of his di- 
vinity. 

4 The archangel Michael farther 
commanded us to go beyond Jordan, 
to an excellent and fat country, 
where there are many who rose from 
the dead along with us for the proof 
of the resurrection of Christ. 

5 For we have only three days al- 
lowed us from the dead, who arose 
to celebrate the passover of our 
Lord with our parents, and to bear 
our testimony for Christ the Lord, 
and we have been baptized in the 
holy river of Jordan. And now they 
are not seen by any one. 

6 This is as much as God allowed us 
to relate to you; give ye therefore 
praise and honour to him, and re- 
pent, and he will have mercy upon 
you. Peace be to you from the Lord 
God Jesus Christ, and the Saviour of 
us all. Amen, Amen, Amen. 



24 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



7 And after they had made an end 
of writing, and had written on two 
distinct pieces of paper, Charinus 
gave what he wrote into the hands 
of Annas, and Caiaphas, and 
Gamaliel. 

8 Lenthius likewise gave what be 
wrote into the hands of Nicodemus 
and Joseph; and immediately they 
were changed into exceeding white 
forms and were seen no more. 

9 But what they had written was 
found perfectly to agree, the one not 
containing one letter more or less 
than the other. 

10 When all the assembly of the 
Jews heard all these surprising rela- 
tions of Charinus and Lenthius, they 
said to each other, Truly all these 
things were wrought by God, and 
blessed be the Lord Jesus for ever 
and ever, Amen. 

11 And they went all out with great 
concern, and fear, and trembling, 
and smote upon their breasts and 
went away every one to his home. 

12 But immediately all these things 
which were related by the Jews in 
their synagogues concerning Jesus, 
were presently told by Joseph and 
Nicodemus to the governor. 

13 And Pilate wrote down all these 
transactions, and placed all these ac- 
counts in the public records of his 
hall. 

CHAPTER XXII. 

1 Pilate goes to the temple; calls together 
the rulers, and scribes, and doctors. 2 
Commands the gates to be shut; orders the 
book of the Scriptures; and causes the 
Jews to relate what thej really knew con- 
cerning Christ. 14 They declare that they 
crucified Christ in ignorance, and that 
they now know him to be the Son of God, 
according to the testimony of the Scrip- 
tures; which, after they put him to death, 
were examined. 



AFTER these things Pilate went to 
the temple of the Jews, and called 
together all the rulers and scribes, 
and doctors of the law, and went 
with them into a chapel of the 
temple. 

2 And commanding that all the 
gates should be shut, said to them, I 
have heard that ye have a certain 
large book in this temple; I desire 
you, therefore, that it may be 
brought before me. 

3 And when the great book, carried 
by four ministers of the temple, and 
adorned with gold and precious 
stones, was brought, Pilate said to 
them all, I adjure you by the God of 
your Fathers, who made and com- 
manded this temple to be built, that 
ye conceal not the truth from me. 

4 Ye know all the things which are 
written in that book; tell me there- 
fore now, if ye in the Scriptures have 
found any thing of that Jesus whom 
ye crucified, and at what time of the 
world he, ought to have come: show 
it me. 

5 Then having sworn Annas and 
Caiaphas, they commanded all the 
rest who were with them to go out 
of the chapel. 

6 And they shut the gates of the 
temple and of the chapel, and said to 
Pilate, Thou hast made us to swear, 
O judge, by the building of this 
temple, to declare to thee that which 
is true and right. 

7 After we had crucified Jesus, not 
knowing that he was the Son of 
God, but supposing he wrought his 
miracles by some magical arts, we 
summoned a large assembly in this 
temple. 

8 And when we were deliberating 
among one another about the mir- 
acles which Jesus had wrought, we 
found many witnesses of our own 
country, who declared that they had 



25 



GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS 



seen him alive after his death, and 
that they heard him discoursing with 
his disciples, and saw him ascending 
into the height of the heavens, and 
entering into them; 

9 And we saw two witnesses, whose 
bodies Jesus raised from the dead, 
who told us of many strange things 
which Jesus did among the dead, of 
which we have a written account in 
our hands. 

10 And it is our custom annually to 
open this holy book before an as- 
sembly, and to search there for the 
counsel of God. 

11 And we found in the first of the 
seventy books, where Michael the 
archangel is speaking to the third 
son of Adam the first man, an ac- 
count that after five thousand five 
hundred years, Christ the most be- 
loved son of God was to come on 
earth, 

12 And we further considered, that 
perhaps he was the very God of Is- 
rael who spoke to Moses, Thou shalt 
make the ark of the testimony; two 
cubits and a half shall be the length 
thereof, and a cubit and a half the 
breadth thereof, and a cubit and a 
half the height thereof. 

13 By these five cubits and a half 
for the building of the ark of the 
Old Testament, we perceived and 
knew that in five thousand years and 
half (one thousand) years, Jesus 



Christ was to come in the ark or tab- 
ernacle of a body; 

14 And so our Scriptures testify that 
he is the Son of God, and the Lord 
and King of Israel. 

15 And because after his suffering, 
our chief priests were surprised at 
the signs which were wrought by his 
means, we opened that book to 
search all the generations down to 
the generation of Joseph and Mary 
the mother of Jesus, supposing him 
to be of the seed of David; 

16 And we found the account of the 
creation, and at what time he made 
the heaven and the earth, and the 
first man Adam, and that from 
thence to the flood, were two thou- 
sand seven hundred and forty- eight 
years. 

17 And from the flood to Abraham, 
nine hundred and twelve. And from 
Abraham to Moses, four hundred 
and thirty. And from Moses to David 
the King, five hundred and ten. 

18 And from David to the Babylon- 
ish captivity five hundred years. And 
from the Babylonish captivity to the 
incarnation of Christ, four hundred 
years. 

19 The sum of all which amounts to 
five thousand and half (a thousand.) 

20 And so it appears, that Jesus 
whom we crucified, is Jesus Christ 
the Son of God, and true Almighty 
God. Amen. 



In the name of the Holy Trinity, thus end the acts of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which 
the Emperor Theodosius the Great found at Jerusalem, in the hall of Pontius Pilate, 
among the public records; the things were acted in the nineteenth year of Tiberius 
Caesar, Emperor of the Komans, and in the seventeenth year of the government of 
Herod, the son of Herod and of Galilee, on the eighth of the calends of April, which is 
the twenty-third day of the month of March, in the CCIId Olympiad, when Joseph and 
Caiaphas were rulers of the Jews; being a History written in Hebrew by Nicodemus, of 
what happened after our Saviour ' s crucifixion. 



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